Solitude

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone,
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has troubles enough of it s own,

Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air,
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,---
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.

There is room in the house of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

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